Kinross

I have a feeling that The Interview will probably turn out to be a rather mediocre film.  That may be doing it a disservice but at the very least the subject matter isn't one that'd appeal to me, even though I do enjoy a comedy.  In fact, even though there is a Hollywood history of ridiculing disliked regimes (Chaplin's parody of Hitler in The Great Dictator, or the portrayal of Saddam Hussein in Hot Shots! Part Deux), I'm slightly uncomfortable about a movie that proposes the assassination of a current head of state, whatever state that may be.

Scotland has a major constitutional decision to make on 18th September 2014, when we are asked the question "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

There are some headline grabbing issues around this with both sides making their own particular points on these, probably the three main ones being Currency Union, EU membership, and whether financial institutions will remain in Scotland.

Scotland has a major constitutional decision to make on 18th September 2014, when we are asked the question "Should Scotland be an independent country?"

In the past week or so, there have been three topics that have been catching the headlines and I'll deal with those in reverse order:

Celebrity endorsements

The news-grabbing item here was David Bowie's "Scotland, stay with us" delivered by his proxy, Kate Moss, during the Brit Awards.  I'm slightly amused and at the same time disturbed by some of the reactions this caused. Firstly, I'd be surprised if David Bowie actually exerts any influence over voters. Indeed, no celebrity should - a proposal should stand or fall on the merits of the proposal, not on how bright and shiny the stars are that attach themselves to either side of the argument.  In fact, sometime celebrities turn out to be a bit of an embarrassment - remember Kenny Everett's "Let's bomb Russia!" speech at the Tory party conference?

What does it take for that girl to get a break in Sochi?  I can't really imagine how heart-breaking or frustrating it must be to do all the work to get to the Winter Olympics and have high expectations of a medal in at least one of three events and have it end this way.

I can understand the penalty in the 500m: The fall was simply unfortunate but the rule is that if you go down and take out another competitor who is ahead of you then you get penalised.  In the 1500m it was either a misjudgement or over-caution in trying to avoid another coming-together that caused Elise to run just outside the designated finish line, but even on the limited camera angles on TV it was fairly clear that she did miss the line and that the DNF decision was fair.

What does it take to grow lemons in Scotland?

In spring last year I acquired a small lemon tree - more of a "lemon bush" really due to the way it had been trellised.  It was something to experiment with in our new greenhouse.  Over the summer it sprouted new leaf growth, lots of white lemon scented flowers and several small fruits.  Most of these didn't actually develop but that was kind of expected - a couple of lemons did mature into full sized, pickable fruit and I didn't expect such a young potted specimen to be able to support dozens of fruit.